University of Pittsburgh Department of Cell Biology

Traub Lab

Many molecules enter the cell interior within clathrin-coated vesicles, in process termed endocytosis. This process is critical to the way we move and think. At the tip of each axon, synaptic vesicles (packages of neurotransmitter) release their contents when the nerve is stimulated by fusing with the cell surface. Almost instantly, the membrane of the synaptic vesicle is then retrieved within clathrin-coated vesicles. Endocytosis is thus tightly coupled to exocytosis, the stimulated release of neurotransmitter. Failure to recover synaptic-vesicle membrane results in both morphological disruption of the nerve terminal and defective neurotransmission. We study the mechanisms and molecules involved in clathrin-coat assembly. To understand how these complex structures assemble within only a minute or two, we use biochemical, cell biological and structural approaches to unravel the protein-protein interactions that orchestrate the formation of this elaborate protein-sorting machine.

  1. Muenzner J, Traub LM, Kelly BT, Graham SC. Cellular and viral peptides bind multiple sites on the N-terminal domain of clathrin.. Traffic. 2017 Jan;18(1):44-57. doi: 10.1111/tra.12457. PubMed PMID: 27813245;
  2. Ma L, Umasankar PK, Wrobel AG, Lymar A, McCoy AJ, Holkar SS, Jha A, Pradhan-Sundd T, Watkins SC, Owen DJ, Traub LM. Transient Fcho1/2⋅Eps15/R⋅AP-2 Nanoclusters Prime the AP-2 Clathrin Adaptor for Cargo Binding.. Dev Cell. 2016 Jun 6;37(5):428-43. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.05.003. PubMed PMID: 27237791;
  3. Traub LM. F-BAR/EFC Domain Proteins: Some Assembly Required.. Dev Cell. 2015 Dec 21;35(6):664-6. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.12.003. PubMed PMID: 26702823;
  4. Umasankar PK, Ma L, Thieman JR, Jha A, Doray B, Watkins SC, Traub LM. A clathrin coat assembly role for the muniscin protein central linker revealed by TALEN-mediated gene editing.. Elife. 2014 Oct 10;3():. doi: 10.7554/eLife.04137. PubMed PMID: 25303365;
  5. Chakraborty S, Umasankar PK, Preston GM, Khandelwal P, Apodaca G, Watkins SC, Traub LM. A phosphotyrosine switch for cargo sequestration at clathrin-coated buds.. J Biol Chem. 2014 Jun 20;289(25):17497-514. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.556589. PubMed PMID: 24798335;
  6. Traub LM, Bonifacino JS. Cargo recognition in clathrin-mediated endocytosis.. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2013 Nov 1;5(11):a016790. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a016790. PubMed PMID: 24186068;
  7. Umasankar PK, Sanker S, Thieman JR, Chakraborty S, Wendland B, Tsang M, Traub LM. Distinct and separable activities of the endocytic clathrin-coat components Fcho1/2 and AP-2 in developmental patterning.. Nat Cell Biol. 2012 Apr 8;14(5):488-501. doi: 10.1038/ncb2473. PubMed PMID: 22484487;
  8. Jha A, Watkins SC, Traub LM. The apoptotic engulfment protein Ced-6 participates in clathrin-mediated yolk uptake in Drosophila egg chambers.. Mol Biol Cell. 2012 May;23(9):1742-64. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E11-11-0939. PubMed PMID: 22398720;
  9. Traub LM. Regarding the amazing choreography of clathrin coats.. PLoS Biol. 2011 Mar;9(3):e1001037. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001037. PubMed PMID: 21445329;
  10. Traub LM. Tickets to ride: selecting cargo for clathrin-regulated internalization.. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Sep;10(9):583-96. doi: 10.1038/nrm2751. PubMed PMID: 19696796;
Postal Address:
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Cell Biology
S312 BST-South
Telephone:  412-648-9711  
Fax: 412-648-8330  
Email:  traub@pitt.edu